Lot 53 of 218:
Acts of 1st Congress 8vo edition 1789  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$5,400
$6,000 - $9,000

Acts Passed at a Congress of the United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the Fourth of March, in the year MDCCLXXXIX... Being the acts passed at the first session of the First Congress of the United States.... which Eleven States respectively ratified the Constitution of Government for the United States, proposed by the Federal Convention, held in Philadelphia, on the Seventeenth of September, One-Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Seven


New York

Printed by Hodge, Allen and Campbell... Also by T. Lloyd



xxi, [1 blank], [25]-185, [2], xiv, [2] pp. (8vo) 19.7x11 cm (7¾x4"), period sheep, morocco spine label. First octavo edition.

Rare first octavo edition of the acts of the first Congress, containing the Constitution, one of the earliest public printings of the Bill of Rights, and the text of all of the acts passed by the first Congress. There is some dispute over whether his is the first, or second, printing of these acts; Evans calls this a reprint of the folio edition produced the same year by the Congressional printers Childs and Swaine in Philadelphia. Sabin, however, claims the reverse order of appearance. According to Reed (quoted in Sabin), the publisher T. Lloyd is said to have been the stenographer who recorded the debates. Given the fact that Congress was convened in New York and attended by Lloyd, his New York partners would have received first-hand information about the session with greater immediacy than would Childs and Swaine, thus making Sabin's order of priority plausible. The Acts also contained the text of the Constitution and the proposed first twelve amendments to it, drafted by James Madison. The first two were not ratified while the remaining ten were ratified between November 1789 and December 1791, thereby forming the body of the Bill of Rights.

Lot Amendments

Some rubbing to covers, rear joint starting to crack; free endpapers neatly excised, some darkening and foxing within; very good.

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